“Please take it up with my management agency,” said actor Yu Macken, 19, after being stopped by a reporter from weekly tabloid Friday (Aug 12) on a street in Tokyo one recent morning as he commuted to the set of “Aogeba Totoshi,” the weekly TBS drama.
Attired in a loose white shirt, gray slacks and sandals, Macken (@Mackenyu1116), the son of international action film star Shinichi “Sonny” Chiba, was deflecting a question of a very sensitive nature: Did you father a child at the age of 14 with a married woman?
When the reporter delved further into the issue, Macken couldn’t muster a sound — but the story itself, according to the magazine, speaks volumes on its own.
The incident took place in Los Angeles, where Macken was born. The woman in question is Japanese. She and her Japanese husband were friends with Sonny Chiba and his wife.
“She was in her late 30s,” says a person with knowledge of the matter. “Now she’s beyond 40. Of course, Chiba knows. He was furious, claiming, ‘My boy was raped!'”
The child, a 5-year-old girl, lives with her mother in Los Angeles. After she was born, the woman and her husband divorced.
In October of 2013, Chiba sued the woman on the grounds that she had sex with a boy under the age of 14 — the age of consent in California is 18 —a crime that can result in eight years in prison. After a number of hearings at a courthouse in the outskirts of Los Angeles, the case was dropped in December after Macken denied that he had been raped.
Over a six-decade career, Chiba has made a name for himself in martial arts and action films. After appearing in the second film in director Kinji Fukasaku’s landmark series “Jingi Naki Tatakai” (Battles Without Honor and Humanity) in 1974, Chiba made his international breakthrough in “The Street Fighter” the following year.
Macken followed in his father’s footsteps, making his debut in the entertainment industry in 2014. In addition to television programs, he has appeared in a number of films, including “Chihayafuru: Kami no Ku,” a live-action adaptation of the manga series by Yuki Suetsugu released earlier this year.
When Yukan Fuji (July 29) contacted Macken’s agency about the veracity of the Friday report, a representative said, “Although there are serious mistakes as to the facts, we will withhold offering comment given the content of the matter.”
As to Friday, their reporter never received a response from Macken, who was last seen fleeing the scene, his leather-bottomed sandals flapping on the pavement.
Source: “’Chiba Shinichi no musuko’ Macken Yu 19-sai ‘gyoten rosu ni 5-sai no kakushigo,'” Friday (Aug. 12, pages 18-20)
Note: Brief extracts from Japanese vernacular media in the public domain that appear here were translated and summarized under the principle of “fair use.” Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the translations. However, we are not responsible for the veracity of their contents. The activities of individuals described herein should not be construed as “typical” behavior of Japanese people nor reflect the intention to portray the country in a negative manner. Our sole aim is to provide examples of various types of reading matter enjoyed by Japanese.